An Australian bank, ANZ, changed ATMs into “GayTMs” in a couple locations in support of LGBT Pride in Auckland, and one of those ATMs was vandalised. There have been plenty of people condemning that, of course, but others have been, shall we say, less reflective.
With that in mind, I present to you the people of New Zealand—all of these are actual comments on the New Zealand Herald:
• Homosexuals can do what they like, but I resent their misappropriation of a word that used to mean "cheerful".And on Twitter:
• LGBTs have been bullying their own outlook of life onto the rest of society now for decades. Honest debate has been quashed by name calling [sic] and insults from the LGBT spokes people [sic]. They stole the natural beauty of a rainbow to be the pin up for what, let's face it, is an unnatural pairing.
People start rebelling if they are continually shouted down and forced to accept something which they either disagree with or have no opinion of. the [sic] LBGT community are now facing a second backlash against them, not for what or who they are, but because of their bullying tactics to force mainstream acceptance of their opinions.
I can have a debate with people of different political persuasions or religious bent, or scientific ideology. But I cannot debate with a gay [sic]. I am quickly denounced as a homophobe (which is insulting to the people who suffer real phobias, another reason the LBGT community have to be hated. [sic] get over yourself [sic]. being [sic] part of society is not dominating it. [sic]
• The whole concept is utterly ridiculous, PC new zealand [sic] gone mad.!!! [sic]
Why must the minority's [sic] be over represented [sic] catered to [sic].
• While I don't condone vandalism in any form I don't see why there should be an ATM machine desiganted [sic] specifically to the gay community? Should we have ATM's [sic] desiganated [sic] to colour of skin aswell [sic]?
• It's a real shame this has happened, however [sic] I think New Zealand is a haven for LGBTs compared with many, many counties [sic] in the world. Try Russia or the Middle East for example. I was in Jakarta, Indonesia a few years ago and witness [sic] transexuals [sic] being laughed at and shoved on the street by a group of people.
• ANZ's comment "Our Ponsonby GAYTM was vandalised this morning. Sadly some people still ignorant & intolerant" itself smacks of IGNORANCE & INTOLERANCE towards people who hold a different world view [sic]. Get over yourself [sic] ANZ. We don't all think like you.
• Why iss [sic] it necessary to have a GAYTM in the first place. I thought they just wanted to be accepted and treated like everyone else. Guess not.
• Really? was [sic] the straight community consulted before this ghastly abomination was conceived? of [sic] course, if something is thrust upon you without proper consent, or approval, people will get upset, and even take matters into their own hands. It might be an act of vandalism on the part of the perpetrator, but the act of exposing the GAYTM to the public is a much greater crime.
• There has always been a strong religious back bone [sic] in NZ society who personally view Gays as a sin against Nature and people who have abhorrent personal behavior [sic]. Even when these same people are publicly accepting of other peoples [sic] differences and supportive of their right to do whatever they like in the privacy of their own homes.
This is polarizing reaction [sic] when a minority group try and force their personal views upon the majority of society by staking claim of [sic] a publicly used utility [sic] such as a [sic] ATM and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a normal reaction when the ignorant and intolerant members of the Gay community do not respect the right of the Majority of society to "Not want to know"
• Having 'special' ATM's [sic] and Parades doesn't exactly scream wanting to be like everyone else.
• I'm sure we've all got something unique about ourselves we could have a Parade about, but most of us don't care to jump up and down on a Float showing how 'special' we and our exclusive club is.
• If it's no big deal to be gay these days, good for you, but the need to make a song and dance about it (literally) is what gets most people.
• For starters it didn't need the word gaytm [sic] on it. If they hadn't labelled it people would probably ignored it as a target. Sure the atm [sic] is still a little different but people wouldn't have cared. Then again it could have been vandalised by some people who don't like ANZ, people who didn't like the colour of the atm [sic], or people just being destructive for no reason. The main reason why it got hit is because they knew it would bring the press.
• this is the most stupid idea a bank has ever had ever! way [sic] to discriminate against the whole rest of the popoulation [sic] ANZ I will never be using you ever again.... this is aimed at a very small % of the population, where is the catholicATM [sic] or the DogloversATM [sic] or the StraghitATM?? [sic] howe [sic] obsurd [sic] the "gay" community are always wanting to be treated the "same" but demanding special treatment... get overyourself... [sic] pretty much no one cares if you are gay or not any more [sic]
• I would like to know why the ANZ feels they have to put up these ATMs? Can homosexuals not use a normal ATM?
Do they feel discriminated against when their ATM is just a machine in the wall with no floral patterns? Are they intimidated by a normal stock standard ATM?
Surely the share holders [sic] must be pretty filthy seeing such a waste of money on something that is always going to be vandalised (yes, regardless of how you feel about "haters" they will always be there) and therefore more money wasted.
Turn them into normal ATMs, pocket my money you charge me for using it and be done with the pro homo campaign that obviously has many opposed to it.
ANZ would do well with a bit of market research. They would find that (despite the media obfuscation [sic] and over selling [sic]) the vast majority of us still find homosexuality offensive. Yes, most say live and let live. But most don't want it rammed down their throats.
• I found these ATMs offensive when I first read the article about them. It's just another example of the hypocrisy of the 'LGBT community'. On the one hand is the "we want to be treated equally, we're normal, we're just like everyone else". On the other hand is "we're special, we celebrate how we're different from everyone else, we want a gay version of everything". Any straight person who makes a mistake about whether a gay person wants to be treated equally or specially is labelled a bigot.
To ANZ: “well I think if it’s your thing we should remove our accounts from you” and “Seems you prefer gay customers, would you like the rest to move” and “I don't mind what gays get up to in private, but don't expect business to puss [sic] it in my face”Let’s re-cap, shall we? An Australian bank decides that as marketing ploy having “GayTMs” in a couple locations is a great idea. One of them is vandalised, for whatever reason, and in the Internet that becomes “the gays” demanding something or other that they have no right to demand in the first place (um, like respect, for example?) and when “normal” people attack, well, that’s just what we deserve—we had it coming! Do I have that about right? I know I do, thanks.
Another user: “I agree with you. If not being normal is your thing thats [sic] fine but businesses shouldn’t waste money on this sort of crap.” And, “it could be that they're sick & tired of having this gay stuff shoved in their faces all the time”
And to all the frightfully nice people who offered their sage wisdom online, I can only say, with the utmost love and respect, “fuck you very much”. Anyone who thinks that’s too harsh clearly doesn’t have a clue, but I’m happy to help such people find one.
Fortunately, MY readers aren’t like that. But unless you stand up to those who are, you’re not terribly far removed. The line between modernity and age-old bigotry is fine, but easy to spot—IF you want to.